By Isabel Angell
San Francisco will be transformed into Gotham City today so a 5-year-old boy can assume his secret identity and save us from some really scary villains.
The 5-year-old is named Miles Scott, a leukemia survivor from the town of Tulelake in far, far Northern California. His alter ego is “Batkid.” And his mission today, with the help of Mayor Ed Lee’s office, Police Chief Greg Suhr, the San Francisco Giants and anyone else who wants to play a part in the fun, is to save the city from the Riddler and the Penguin.
Miles’s day, sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will start at 10 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Union Square. Here’s how Make-A-Wish describes what’s scheduled to happen there: “San Francisco’s Police Chief will ask if anyone knows the whereabouts of Batkid. The city needs his help to fight crime and capture villains! Our little Batkid, along with Batman, will be ready to answer the call!”
After that, Miles/Batkid will have adventures on Nob Hill (rescuing a damsel in distress from the Hyde Street cable-car tracks), at a downtown bank (nabbing a robber) and AT&T Park (to save a local baseball team’s mascot). Then he’ll wind up the day at City Hall to meet Mayor Lee and Chief Suhr.
Suhr said Thursday he’s been amazed at the level of interest in Miles’s story and the public’s eagerness to get involved in Batkid’s adventures.
“We had over 7,000 people try to make a reservation to have lunch with Batkid and Batman,” he said. “We expect 7500 to 10,000 people at Civic Center for this. And all for a little boy at hopefully what will be the last he sees of leukemia and has always been fascinated by superheroes. Pretty cool.”
Miles was diagnosed with leukemia at 18 months and is now in remission. Doctors removed a tube that delivered medicine into his chest just last month.
“This wish has meant closure for our family and an end to over three years of putting toxic drugs in our son’s body” says Miles’ mom, Natalie Scott. “This wish has become kind of a family reunion and is our celebration of his treatment completion.”
The public is invited to cheer on Miles throughout the day, and join in his victory celebration in front of San Francisco’s City Hall at 2 p.m. You can follow one of tomorrow’s villains, the Penguin, on Twitter as he plots against Batkid.
You can also follow along below: